If I feel anxious, does that mean I have anxiety disorder? We get asked this question a lot.
Anxiety disorder is a persistent feeling of worry, nervousness, or fear. It is normal to experience anxiety before a big test, a job interview or a major life event. These are not signs of anxiety disorder, though. If the condition persists, you may have anxiety disorder.
Everyone feels occasional anxiety from time to time, which go away on its own. Once you take the test or complete an interview, you feel better. But if you have anxiety disorder, these feelings are persistent and ongoing. You don’t need any noticeable trigger and things may get worse over time. It is this persistence that separates anxiety from anxiety disorder.
How Do I Tell the Difference between Anxiety and Anxiety Disorder?
If feeling anxious prevents you from accomplishing a task or engaging in social interactions, you may have anxiety disorder. Occasional anxiety can turn into anxiety disorder, especially after a traumatic event.
When to Seek Anxiety Treatment
If your anxiety is keeping you from enjoying an element of your life, it’s time to seek treatment. Perhaps you’ve stopped going out as much as you used to, or maybe you feel unproductive at work. Your anxiety may prevent your from sleeping, or it may make you more irritable than normal. Whatever the case may be, you can regain control of your life through anxiety treatment.